Du holde Kunst
An addendum to my earlier post: I’ve written before about the knee-jerk romanticizing of the musician in, for instance, Ann Patchett’s novel Bel Canto; and someone yesterday mentioned Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus to me as another example. Here's a question: Does music tend to be idealized more than other arts in literary depictions? That is, are musicians more likely to be romantically portrayed than, say, painters; or does art about art generally partake of this self-glorification, whether it's about music, painting, dance? How many works of art about artists actually capture some of the reality of what they do, as opposed to The Wonder of it All?
One book that reflects opera’s over-the-top, mythical qualities and yet is also affectionately satirical is James McCourt’s Mawrdew Czgowchwz, which should be required reading for all opera buffs. István Szabo’s slightly less successful film “Meeting Venus,” with Glenn Close as the opera singer (with Kiri te Kanawa's voice), also at once romanticizes opera and brings it down to earth. Then there's E.M. Forster... Other nominees?
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